Panel approves blood drug limit bill for drivers

DENVER — The civil unions bill that did not go forward wasn’t the only measure to be debated Monday during a special session called by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee approved a bill that would set a drug-blood limit of 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood as being too high to drive.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said he supported the idea.

That bill and several other measures later received preliminary approval in the House and Senate, which had to happen by midnight to stay alive.

In all, 11 bills were introduced during the special session, which is expected to end Wednesday. It costs the state about $23,500 a day to run the session, about half of which goes to legislators for their per diem pay.

All of those measures failed to get through the regular session that ended last week, in part, because they got caught up in a floor battle over civil unions.

Among them include a measure to fund $55 million for 13 water projects around the state over the next two years, including $12 million to purchase the state’s portion of water from the Animas-La Plata water project near Durango.

Other bills that won preliminary approval Monday include:

■ A proposed referendum to strip unconstitutional provisions from the Colorado Constitution.

■ A bill designed to lower unemployment insurance rates for businesses.

■ A measure to create benefit corporations in the state, which are designed to emphasize public benefit over profit.

Senators also gave preliminary approval to a bill to lower regulations over special mobile machinery. An identical bill introduced into the House by Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, was set for its first committee hearing today, meaning it won’t have enough time to survive the rest of the special session.


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